If you are travelling abroad, a little of bit of extra planning is essential. Ensuring that you have the appropriate vaccinations, packing your holiday first aid kit and checking that your travel insurance covers any existing health conditions will help you to have a healthy holiday.
For people traveling to exotic destinations it's always worth checking the health risks for the area you are travelling to as far in advance as possible. For example, if you are travelling to Thailand, you will need to consider vaccinations against Hepatitis A, Tetanus, and Cholera among others, as well as getting anti-malaria medication. For more information about the health risks where you're travelling to, you can get a free travel needs assessment through the Lloydspharmacy Online Doctor Travel Clinic, as well as order the appropriate vaccinations and anti-malarials, and get advice about dealing with jet lag.
It's also worth thinking about other health problems that you may pick up when you are away such as diarrhoea, particularly in more far flung destinations. If you don't have medication to hand then travellers' diarrhoea can be quite serious so it's important that you are prepared. Consider taking with you some oral antibiotics to treat bacterial causes of diarrhoea, medicines to treat loose stools, and oral rehydration sachets to combat dehydration. Other things you might want to add to your holiday first aid kit include suncream, plasters, paracetamols and condoms. For more ideas there is a useful holiday checklist on the Lloydspharmacy website.
If you are planning to take any medicines to a warm country, it's a good idea to speak to your local pharmacist about the best way to store them. If your medicines need to be stored in the fridge, check with your accommodation provider to check if these facilities are available - you could also take a cool bag with you just in case.
It's also important that you make sure you have enough medicine to last your holiday. You could have a chat with your GP who should be happy to prescribe some extra to keep you going and remember, some countries have different rules about the types of medications that are legal as well as the quantities allowed, so check the rules before you go.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will cover you for medically necessary care within the European Union. You can get one at the following address: www.nhs.uk/EHIC. It is also important to get travel insurance to make sure you are covered for all eventualities and that you don't find yourself paying out for huge medical expenses. For more information on travelling abroad check the FCO's Know Before You Go website.
Being properly prepared will ensure you have a happy, healthy holiday and can make the most of your well-deserved break.